Begin with what’s usually the focus to any backyard entertaining: The grill! The supreme, the critical, the uppermost important decision of your outdoor galley.

  • If you want an outdoor kitchen that can be rearranged, moved around and taken with you to a future home, choose a grill with wheels. These are common and come in a wide variety of sizes, features and prices.
  • If you plan to make the kitchen a permanent part of your patio or deck, select a built-in grill that will drop into a space on a cabinet with countertops or another base unit that’s built on site. The base unit also can provide storage and work space, just like your indoor kitchen cabinets. If there’s a chance that you might move to a different house, think carefully about spending money on features you can’t take with you.
  • Covers are available to keep most grills safe from the elements. Any other parts of your outdoor kitchen should be made of materials that are weatherproof. Some good examples are teak, stainless steel, slate, stone, tile and stucco.
  • Provide a cover for the cook and the cooking area so a little rainfall won’t ruin the meal. Leave enough ventilation so smoke from the grill can blow away. If your grill is in an enclosed area, consider adding an exhaust hood.
  • Be sure that the area directly underneath the grill can withstand high heat and any sparks or embers that might fall, and that it can support the weight of the equipment that rests on it. Most patios should work fine, but decks might need additional structural support.

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